I left for San Francisco on Thursday, May 22, 1997.
Why San Francisco? Well, one answer comes from one of my many heroes -- Winnie the Pooh, from author A. A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner:
"We'll go because it's Thursday"
So why, on this particular Thursday, did I choose San Francisco?
I had contacts there, friends of my sister. I had met them on an interview for graduate school in 1995. At that time, I had gone out to a night club, where a woman had asked me to dance. So I got some mild flirting, along with exceptional sight-seeing. Naturally, there was magic in this city (sarcasm mode if you couldn't tell :) ).
I had no idea what I was doing. I thought there would me magic answers out there, and I would be transformed into a "better" person. I definitely grew from this trip, but not in any magical, transformational way.
One of my supervisors told me that you learn to do psychotherapy by doing it. My thoughts? That is an oversimplification. As it regards my trip to San Francisco, while I was preparing, people asked me what I wanted to do, and encouraged me to research the city. I had no idea what I wanted to do -- it was the city that would do the wokr of transforming me! So I came in blind, not knowing how to maximized my time in San Francisco. I wasn't going to research anything -- I was taking time off! Research is work! But I did learn about traveling, and the magic of San Francisco, by following my future supervisor's advice, and "just doing it!"
The sight-seeing I had done in 1995 included my friend taking me to the Twin Peaks. I was certain I would hike there every day, picking up good fitness habits, becoming a new person. Yeah, right. But I did enjoy the Twin Peaks on several occasions.
The following picture is a digital picture of a picture I took with a disposable camera, memorializing one of my hikes to the Twin Peaks.
I think this picture is perfect in its imperfections. It shows how, uhm, primitive I was in my travels in 1997 as compared to now. I bought a cheap, disposable camera in San Francisco, not planning ahead, and "winging it." This is a beautiful representation of my first step of traveling.
I probably weigh in the 160s in this picture -- about 30 pounds more than I weigh today. I hadn't hit, or even remotely approached my high-water mark of 265. I was still in denial, eating fatty, carbohydrate-laden foods, with no concept of how they would affect me long-term. I was naive in weight management, as I was naive in traveling.
As for the Twin Peaks, I felt as if I was on top of the world every time I was there -- I loved looking down and seeing the beautiful city of San Francisco. It may have been a first, primitive experience, but it is remembered as much for its beauty as it being my "first."